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Nienna The Mourning Vala by moon blossom
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Biographical information

Other names
Lady of Mercy, Lady of Pity and Mourning, Nienna the Compassionate
Queen of the Valar
Date of birth
Before the creation of Arda
Year ascended to the throne
Date of death
Realms ruled
Powers of the Valar

Physical description

Hair color
Eye color

Nienna (Quenya [niˈenna] or Third Age Middle-earth [niˈjenna]; 'She who weeps') was an Ainu, one of the Queens of the Valar and one of the Aratar. She was the sister of Mandos and Irmo and had no spouse. Her part in the Music of the Ainur was one of deep sadness, from which grief entered the world at its beginning. She had dominion over the Halls of Nienna, which were on the western edge of Valinor, looking over the sea.


Nienna was concerned with mourning, and she pitied the suffering of others, especially the Marring of Arda by Melkor. Her tears brought healing; they flowed to quicken the Two Trees, which then brought forth their last flower and fruit after their poisoning. Yet the lesson of Nienna is not of endless grief, but rather of pity, hope, and the endurance of the spirit. Olorin (Gandalf) was her greatest pupil, but she comforted all who dwell in the Halls of Awaiting. She taught Gandalf pity and many other things before he was sent by the Valar to oppose Sauron in Middle-earth.

Nienna dwelt in far western Valinor near Mandos, and she seldom came to Valimar. Her windows looked out beyond the Walls of the Night. Her name means she who weeps.[1]

The pity of Nienna is most clearly seen in her support for Melkor when he sued for the pardon of the Valar. Though she spent her time in the world mourning for the destruction he had wreaked in Arda, when he sued for release after his three ages of Captivity, Nienna spoke on his bahalf.[2]

Nienna govar
Nienna, the Compassionate
Vezz801Added by Vezz801

Earlier versions of the LegendariumEdit

In The Book of Lost Tales 1, a character similar to Nienna was called Fui (Night), the Death-Goddess. In Gnomish she was Fuil, the Queen of the Dark. She dwelt in halls that bore her name, and had a roof of bats' wings. Heskil (Winter One) and Núri (One who Sighs) were her names as well. She was also called Qalme-Tari (Mistress of Death). As Fui she was the spouse of Vefantur (Mandos in Tolkien's later writings) and dwelt in his halls of Ve. She judged the female elves while Vefantur judged the male elves.[3]

Similarly, Vairë was an elven storyteller in Tolkien's early writings, but in his later writings Vairë was the wife of Mandos and was responsible for weaving the story of the World.

Ainur of Arda
Ainulindalë (Music of the Ainur)
Lords of the Valar Manwë | Aulë | Oromë | Irmo (Lórien) | Námo (Mandos) | Tulkas | Ulmo
Queens of the Valar (The Valier): 
Varda | Yavanna | Vána | Estë | Vairë | Nessa | Nienna
Lord of the Valar (The Enemy): 
Morgoth (a.k.a. Melkor)
Eönwë | Ilmarë | Ossë | Uinen | Salmar | Melian | Arien | Tilion | Curumo (Saruman) | Olórin (Gandalf) | Aiwendil (Radagast) | Alatar (Morinehtar) | Pallando (Rómestámo)
Maiar (Enemies):  Sauron | Gothmog | Durin's Bane | Ungoliant | Curumo (Saruman)


  1. The Silmarillion: Valaquenta
  2. Of Fëanor and the Unchaining of Melkor
  3. The Book of Lost Tales 1

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